When To Take Maternity Photos: BEST timing at (Any) Weeks

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The question of when to take maternity photos can leave some mothers-to-be confused, especially if you’re looking to book a pregnancy photo session with your preferred maternity photographer well in advance.

Well, we’re here to help you out and answer all your questions!

Pregnancy is both beautiful and challenging, a time filled with wonder and hope and the promises of things to come. But, as any mom-to-be will tell you, looking back, it seems like it passes in the blink of an eye. 

That’s why doing a beautiful maternity photoshoot at the right time is so important. Every future mom wants photos of her baby bump she can cherish forever.

So, whether you’re a pregnant mom or a maternity photographer, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know. 

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When To Take Maternity Photos?

This brief guide will help you book your maternity photo session at the best time. Do keep in mind that all pregnancies are different. So, you need to be flexible and adjust to your own time based on how you feel. 

Hopefully, by answering these common questions, we can help you to make an educated guess.  

Also, make sure you check out our guide to maternity photography to polish up your skills.

When is the Best Time To Do a Maternity Photo Shoot?

Credit: Gresley Guimarães

Every mom-to-be will experience a different pregnancy. Your body will develop differently if this is your first baby or if this is the second or third time round. 

It also depends if you’re expecting multiple births, your condition, and your body type. Yet, some important aspects unify all maternity photography sessions. 

First, you’ll want the pregnant belly to be the main focus. So, you’ll want to wait until it has a nice round shape. Typically, the bump starts to show between 16 to 20 weeks into the pregnancy. To give it some time to grow, you should wait at least until you have 26 or 28 weeks. 

Of course, the more time you wait, the more noticeable it will be. Yet, you want to be comfortable during the shoot. So, you shouldn’t be taking photos after the 38th week of pregnancy – getting into attractive pregnancy poses just feels awkward!

So, if you’re wondering what trimester is best for a maternity session, it’s usually the third trimester (around the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy).

When To Take Maternity Photos If You’re Expecting Twins/Multiples?

Credit: Zara Hamdane

You need to consider the possibility that you may be delivering earlier. This is very likely for pregnant women expecting multiples. So, take this into account if you want to take maternity photos.

In this case, it’s best if you book your maternity photoshoot before the eighth month.  

In general, the end of the second trimester is a good time to schedule your professional maternity photos. If you’re not showing as much as you’d like, you can wait for the beginning of the third trimester. A good time frame would be between 25 to 32 weeks. 

When Should You Take Maternity Photos if It’s a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Credit: Yan Krukov

The second trimester is usually the most stable during a high-risk pregnancy. That’s why it’s recommended to schedule your photo session around this time. Of course, you should ask your doctor what you can and cannot do.

If you need to take any precautions, you should discuss this with your photographer. Then, you can come up with maternity photo ideas that are fun and won’t pose any risk for you or the baby. 

For example, you book maternity photos at home if you’re not recommended to walk or stay on your feet for long. If you’re feeling creative, you can have a milk bath maternity photoshoot, for example.

Just be careful about the water temperature or using fragrances. What I mean is that this should be a pleasant experience. So, you should be the one to decide the ideal time according to your condition. Also, ask your doctor before doing anything out of the ordinary.

Check out our guide to milk bath photography for some more ideas.

When Should You Take Pregnancy Announcement Photos?

Credit: Gabriela

You’ll want your beautiful baby bump to be noticeable for announcement photos. Yet, you don’t want to wait too long. You need to consider the printing and delivery times. This way, you can send them to everyone before the baby arrives.

So, you need to consider your photographer’s turnaround time. In general, I recommend scheduling your maternity session at the beginning of the last trimester. 

Is 36 Weeks Too Late for Maternity Pictures?

Credit: Sean Patrick

Let’s start by saying it’s never too late to do a maternity photo session. It’s better to do it late than not do it at all. 

You won’t regret making the time to take maternity photos. This is a special moment in your life, and your body is going through some incredible changes. Taking photos to remember this period is important. That’s not to mention the fun experience of having a professional photo shoot.

Most photographers recommend the maternity shoot when you have 28 to 36 weeks. So, 36 weeks is still within the average time frame. While it might be a little late for some soon-to-be mums, for others, this is perfect.

For example, if this is your first baby, you’ll need to wait a bit longer for your baby bump to get a nice round shape. 

If you don’t have any medical reason not to do it, you can do a maternity photoshoot up until the due date. As long as you’re feeling up for it, of course. Although, it’s better not to leave it for the last minute.

Is 25 Weeks Too Early for Maternity Pictures?

Credit: Ilzy Sousa

As a general rule, 25 weeks is a little early to take your pregnancy photos. This is because you’ll usually won’t have a visible baby bump yet. 

Of course, not all pregnancies are the same. You can book a maternity session a few weeks early if you’re expecting multiples. 

Also, you’ll be showing earlier if you’re not a first-time mom. So, this is another reason to book your maternity photo session earlier. 

Last but not least, 25 weeks is a good time to take maternity photos if you have a high-risk pregnancy. This is because, in the third trimester, your doctor might recommend bed rest. 

Whatever the reason, an experienced photographer will know how to highlight your growing baby bump. Maternity photos are beautiful at any time. 

Top Tips for Booking a Maternity Photo Shoot

Credit: Maria Lindsey Content Creator

Now that you know when it’s best to take maternity photos. Here are some helpful tips to get you ready:

  • Book your favorite photographer in advance.
  • Schedule earlier if you’re expecting twins.
  • Book later if this is your first baby because you’ll be showing later. 
  • Hire a photographer for the baby shower to have maternity photos with friends and family.
  • Consult with your doctor if you’re planning a difficult location or a demanding activity for your photo shoot.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing because it’s uncomfortable and can leave unflattering marks on the skin that show in the pictures.
  • Don’t wear clothing with distracting patterns. Solid colors look better. 
  • Wait until you’re close to the photo shoot to choose your wardrobe. Otherwise, your body might change too much.
  • If you’re happy with your photographer, consider booking them for newborn photography and family photos.

Timing the Maternity Photo Session | Final Words

These time frames are suggestions from experienced photographers and their past clients. Yet, they’re not set in stone. You can take your maternity photos when you feel comfortable. Also, every pregnant woman has different circumstances. So, just go for it! 

Getting professional photos while you’re pregnant is something you won’t regret. So, regardless of the moment, make sure you take the time to capture this magical experience. 

And when baby has finally come into the world, make sure to book your baby photoshoot! All the best!

Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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